Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon has been suspended indefinitely without pay for another violation of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.
Blackmon was previously suspended the first four games of this season for violating the policy. So this is at least his third violation in about 18 months.
Blackmon’s suspension begins immediately. He will be eligible to apply for reinstatement prior to the start of the 2014 season.
FALCONS: Receiver Roddy White returned to practice for the first time in more than three weeks and is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game at Carolina.
White, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, says he was able to make cuts effectively on his routes during the Friday morning session.
He missed the past two games with right ankle and left hamstring injuries.
White played the first five games with a high ankle sprain, but had just 14 catches for 129 yards and no touchdowns.
Coach Mike Smith says White’s status will be a game-time decision when Atlanta (2-5) faces Carolina (4-3).
BENGALS: Geno Atkins, a fourth-year defensive tackle who was re-signed at the start of the season to a deal that will pay him $55 million, was officially diagnosed with a season-ending ACL tear.
Results of an MRI conducted in Cincinnati on Friday confirmed the suspicions Bengals trainers had just after the former Georgia Bulldog got hurt in the second quarter of Thursday night’s 22-20 overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins.
VIKINGS: For the first time since Oct. 13, Minnesota will have the same starting quarterback two weeks in a row when they face the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
Coach Leslie Frazier named Christian Ponder the starter for Sunday’s road game, putting Ponder back in the Vikings’ lineup a week after he started in a 44-31 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Ponder completed 14 of 21 passes for 145 yards in that game, also running for a touchdown, and Frazier and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said this week Ponder ran the offense well and did some good things in the game.
The Vikings started Matt Cassel for two games after Ponder fractured a rib on Sept. 22 against Cleveland, and put Josh Freeman – whom they’d signed on Oct. 7 – at quarterback against the New York Giants on Oct. 21.
BILLS: Quarterback Thad Lewis is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs after returning to practice Friday. Lewis has a rib injury.
The Bills have yet to make a decision on which backup quarterback – Jeff Tuel or Matt Flynn – will start if Lewis cannot play.